Twins prospect has thunder in his bat that can't be ignored
Arcia had a .727 slugging percentage in 10 Triple-A games. (Kevin Hill/MLB.com)
By Ashley Marshall / Special to MLB.com | April 17, 2013 8:39 AM ET
Fantasy Focus is a regular MiLB.com feature in which we use a Minor League perspective to give you the edge in your fantasy league. Have a fantasy question? Tweet it to @MiLB or @AshMarshallMLB with the hashtag #fantasyfocus.
There's also injury notes on Big Papi's rehab in Pawtucket, an examination of Mike Olt's struggles and a bite-sized rundown through baseball's top-10 prospects to see what they've been doing over the past seven days.
Profar went 3-for-13 with a homer, a double, three RBIs and three strikeouts in three games with Triple-A Round Rock before a breakout performance Tuesday. Verdict: He missed four games with soreness, but he should be good to go again this week.
Skaggs got hit hard on Saturday, allowing nine runs on eight hits and three walks over just 2 1/3 innings.
Rehabs of note
Rehabbing a right Achilles injury, David Ortiz is 3-for-11 in three start with Triple-A Pawtucket. He's plated three runs and struck out three times, but he hasn't experienced any recurring problems with his foot.
He missed Monday's game with what was described as a stomach virus, but he was back in the lineup Tuesday. He's expected to appear in at least four or five more games before he returns, so a return in the final week of April is still possible. He's owned in 96 percent of ESPN leagues, meaning his return will be a big boost to someone in your league if not you. If you're looking for a bat and you don't own Ortiz, keep an eye out for whomever Ortiz's owner discards.
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Didi Gregorius was called up to the Majors on Tuesday after making seven appearances with Triple-A Reno, so don't hesitate to pull the trigger if you need a backup shortstop.
He batted .387 with two solo homers and he collected at least one hit in each of his seven games. He served as the Aces' designated hitter in his first six starts and he played the field Monday night against Sacramento. He's owned in very few league right now, so you shouldn't have a problem claiming him off waivers.
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In his second week of rehab games, Brandon Inge went 3-for-21 with a homer, a double, four RBIs and 10 strikeouts. He's DH'd twice, played second base twice and played in left field once. His bat isn't quite there yet, but it's close.
Inge is on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder blade injury and he could return by the end of the month.
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Marlins outfielder Jake Marisnick is expected to rehab in Jupiter in the next day or two.
Miami's No. 3 prospect broke a bone in his left hand in a Spring Training game in mid March, and the initial thought was that he would miss about one month.
He will join fellow outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who went hitless in three at-bats for the Hammerheads on Tuesday.
As you saw above, Myers is off to a solid but not quite spectacular start for Triple-A Durham. But this isn't so much about Myers' own production causing his fantasy stock to rise as it is his big league club's. The Rays offense ranks last in the American League in batting average (.205), OPS (.569) and runs (35) through its first 12 games, during which they are 4-8 and last in the AL East.
It's been assumed since Tampa Bay acquired the 22-year-old outfielder that it wouldn't bring him up until mid June to delay his service time clock. But if the Rays continue to stutter with the bats, Myers should be considered an in-house solution sooner than later. Those in keeper leagues should already own him. Those who aren't should consider picking him up before it is too late.
There was a time during Spring Training where it seemed like Olt had a chance to break camp with the Rangers. He didn't, and it doesn't look like he'll be in Arlington any time soon either. The Rangers' No. 2 prospect has struck out 23 times in 45 at-bats, three more times than anyone else in the Pacific Coast League.
Overall, he's 5-for-45 (.111) when with three doubles, three RBIs and five walks. The knock on Olt has always been that he acquires too many K's on the scorecard, and given his recent funk, the Rangers won't be in any rush to bring him up from Round Rock. Olt still has a bright future in front of him -- the "Stock Down" isn't related to his overall baseball potential but rather his value for fantasy owners right now.
Under the Radar
Going under the radar is no joke. Last week's under-the-radar fantasy watch featured Ernesto Mejia, a man who has never been in the Majors, may not get to the Majors and yet is someone who has demonstrated that, regardless of all that, if he gets there he should hit.
This week, it's Oakland's (not Washington's) Michael Taylor. Taylor was a big-time power prospect who changed hands from Philadelphia to Toronto for Roy Halladay and was then pried from Toronto by Oakland. The power hasn't quite been the same since he hit 19 homers in 2008 and 20 in 2009, but in two years with Sacramento he's posted an .816 and .846 OPS, and now he's with the A's. With Yoenis Cespedes slated for the DL for two weeks, the 27-year-old will get his shot to make good on the potential he's flashed for so long.
A .410 average and .769 slugging percentage, buoyed by three homers and five doubles in just nine games with the River Cats, suggest he just might be ready to stick in the Majors for good and provide some AL-only value for an A's team that's come to rely on more than a River Cat or two breaking out in Oakland in recent years. It's always difficult to determine how hitters will fare moving from the PCL to pitcher-friendly Oakland, but eight of Taylor's nine Minor League games this year were at Raley Field, the most pitcher-unfriendly park in the hitter-happy PCL.
Will He Stick?
It took a DL stint by Johnny Cueto for 6-foot-4 left-hander Tony Cingrani to get his first Major League start, but Cingrani obviously earned it. He struck out 26, walked two and allowed just three hits over 14 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Louisville before his Sunday start was cut short to preserve his arm for a move to the Reds on Friday.
The Reds' No. 2 prospect, who made three Major League relief appearances last season, will likely make three starts for the big club, and he'll need to produce at near Louisville levels to stay at the game's top level when Cueto returns from his back injury. The best bet is Cingrani's stay with Cincinnati will be short, but it could very well be productive. Consider picking him up if you're thin for starting arms.
How much longer can Tampa Bay wait before Wil Myers is called up? Angels waited till last days of April on Trout and it was too long.
For all the movement that goes on in baseball, the most important transaction, as far as fantasy owners are concerned, remains the callup.
Minnesota has already shown it's willing to give one rookie outfielder an extended look this year, naming Aaron Hicks the starting center fielder out of Spring Training. It's possible that, after bringing up Oswaldo Arcia from Rochester on Sunday, they'll see another take hold of a job.
Wilkin Ramirez has left the Twins on paternity leave, giving Arcia a brief window to show what he can do with the bat. If the .320/.388/.539 line with 17 homers and 98 RBIs he put up last year across two levels are any indication, he has a chance to make a lasting impression in Minneapolis. Arcia is also red-hot in April with a .414 average, .793 slugging percentage, three homers and two doubles in nine games for Triple-A Rochester.
The thunder in his bat will eventually be valuable to both AL-only and mixed leagues.
A Wild, Wild Whine
Ed. note: This section is on the lighter side of fantasy baseball, where staff writer Danny Wild bemoans his continued bad fortune as a fantasy owner. Shoot him an email if you can relate, or maybe some fantasy advice would be more appropriate.
Many of you may assume that someone who works for MLB probably dominates in fantasy baseball. Not true, as I continue to prove on an annual, weekly and nightly basis. After trying to quit my long-time roto league this winter, I was dragged back in before the draft and actually was pretty happy with my roster: Josh Hamilton, David Price, CC Sabathia, Jay Bruce, Ryan Howard, Dan Haren, Jimmy Rollins, etc., but then I quickly assumed my customary position in last place on Opening Day and have been there ever since, thanks to a few clutch efforts:
Pedro Alvarez (think 30+ homer potential) began the season 3-for-41 with 16 strikeouts in 13 games. That's an .073 average.
Josh Hamilton, my first-round pick who I personally knew back during his comeback with Hudson Valley, started 5-for-33 with no homers.
Freddie Freeman was the only one hitting for my team. And then he went on the DL a week into the year despite playing well through the injury.
How about Royals closer Greg Holland? Six walks, a loss and an even 12.00 ERA in three innings.
2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price was my second-round pick (I drafted No. 10 out of 11 teams). He's 0-1 with a 5.82 ERA and 21 hits allowed in 17 frames.
James McDonald? Pretty good late-round value/No. 5 starter kinda guy? Velocity down, already released.
Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. Sam Dykstra and Jonathan Raymond also contributed to this report.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.